2011 APRA Professional Development Awards: Jazz Finalists

Nilusha Baeder
Sri Lankan born and Melbourne raised singer Nilusha Baeder has a unique vocal style that blends soulful, silk like sounds with rhythmic improvisation and spontaneous composition. Nilusha draws from her Sri Lankan heritage and combines with it an array of influences from jazz to world music styles. Her first rate musicianship has found her taking part in a wide range of artistic activities from jazz to pop, including performances with jazz trumpeter James Morrison, ‘80s icon Kim Wilde, Australian soul diva Renee Geyer, Paul Potts (winner of Britain’s Got Talent), the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Kate Ceberano, Jon Stevens, Tom E. Lewis, Don Burrows, Shane Howard, Joe Geia, Kenneth Nash (USA), Kutcha Edwards, Australian rock legend Stevie Wright (The Easybeats), John Paul Young, Grace Knight, Tania Doko (Bachelor Girl) and Daryl Braithwaite among others.


Shannon Barnett
Shannon graduated from the VCA in 2003 and completed her Honours year in 2005. In the same year she received an Australia Council grant along with Gian Slater, to compose the work ‘Tha,’, a 45mm work for the Melbourne Womens’ International Jazz Festival, who also commissioned her for the sextet work ‘R/U/L’, premiered in the 2006 festival. Barnett has since received several other grants, enabling her to undertake a period of study in New York in 2006 and to attend the Banif International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music in Canada. In 2007, she was named YoungAustralian Jazz Artist of the Year. Shannon is an integral member of several ensembles including The Black Ann Band (including the ML&F concert Seven Songs to Leave Behind), The Bennetts Lane Big Band and Aaron Choulai’s Vada, the latter seeing her embark on a collaboration with a choir from a Papua New Guinean village. She has also appeared with Andrea Keller, Paul Grabowsky, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Charlie Haden and The Bamboos, In 2009, she took on a composing and perfonning role with Circus Oz, resulting in perfonnances around Australia and including an act playing trombone suspended upside down in the air.
John Leigh Calder
Singer/Songwriter Musician, Upright & electric bass, guitar. Career began in NZ in the early 60s, gigging throughout the live music scene. Since the early 70's I've been based both in London and Sydney performing with (among others) John Critchinson (Ronnie Scott's pianist) and Colin Wood (Acker Bilk's pianist) playing in some of London's top Jazz venues. In Australia I collaborate with many top established musicians as well as other up and coming talents. Credits: Wembley Arena, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Hippodrome Theatre Birmingham, Theatre Royal Norwich among others. Festivals: Manly International, Darling Harbour, Bellingen, Woollongong, Morpeth, Burwood, Mackay Jazz, Canada Bay, Goulburn Blues, New Orleans at The Rocks, Bay of Islands Jazz (NZ) and Akaroa Jazz Festival, among others. Featured on the ABC's broadcast of the opening of the Soup Plus in Sydney where I regularly performed. Other Sydney venues include the Vanguard Basement and Opera house.

Nicolas Campbell
My band Total Conviction have been jamming together for almost two years .We have gigged many times around town and rehearse as a group three or more times a week.
We won the People's Choice award in the Myschoolact band competition and also placed Third in the Mega Muso's comp in Port Lincoln.


Tracey Campbell
Tracey has been performing for many years and from 1979-1995 was based in Sydney where she worked mainly with her original band Say Yes.
The group had a top 40 single with Tracey’s composition “Raining in my Heart” in 1991.
She collaborated on many projects with well known keyboardist, Sam McNally, recorded her music with Eddie Raynor (Split Enz) starred in the Billy Field ‘Bad Habits’ video clip as the piano player and for many years sang alongside Danielle Gaha, one of Australia’s most soulful singing artists.
She toured NSW State schools with the innovative ‘Roll Over
Beethoven’ band for 3 years sponsored by the Australian
Governments’ ATJSMUSIC scheme and spent 7 years studying classical
voice and piano at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music.
After departing from the Sydney music scene in the mid 90’s Tracey
spent 6 years touring Japan with partner and renowned drummer, Philip
Campbell (Jump Back Jack, Electric Pandas, 1927). During the stint in
Japan she recorded her first solo album ‘Gold’.
In 2006 Tracey recorded her second album ‘Sunshine Embrace’. Tracks from the album have been awarded multiple prizes in Australia’s prestigious song writing competitions MUSICOZ and ASA.

From 2006 to the present Tracey works mostly with her trio performing across the country.

Ivan Cheng
Ivan Cheng performs in spaces around Sydney in various capacities, presenting performance works and installations. Improvising vocally with live processing by Jon Watts, they are noted for 'skilfully blurring' the line between music and performance art with their appearances. Ivan also works as a freelance clarinettist.
Zoe Elizabeth Frater
Electric bassist Zoe Frater began her studies in 1998 at the Mackay Conservatorium of Music. In 1999 she moved to Canberra to study under Eric Ajaye at the Canberra School of Music (Australian National University). During her time in the A.C.T. she received the Foster Scholarship in Jazz and an ANU Honours Scholarship. In 2000 she formed the jazz quartet Katook with guitarist Jess Green. Katook performed and toured extensively between 2000 -2007 (Melbourne Women’s International Jazz Festival MWIJF 2004, Half Bent Music Festival 2005, Jazz Groove 2006), recording for ABC’s Jazz Track Program in 2006. In 2003 Zoe won The Big Brother Movement Scholarship to study in the U.K. with London bassist’s DII Katz, Rob Mullarky, Dudley Phillips and Paul Westwood. In 2008 she premiered a new suite for Big Band and voice performed by the Bennetts Big Band with Gian Slater. Zoe’s main project, The Zoe Frater Sextet, premiered in 2007 at the MWIJF and billed at this year’s Wangaratta Jazz Festival, performing her compositions with Shannon Barnett, Ben Hauptmann, Julien Wilson, Ronny Ferella and Carl Pannuzzo . Zoe has performed at numerous festivals including the Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival, Port Fairy, Manly, Townsville and Mackay Biennial Festival.
Nicholas Garbett
Nick Garbett has established himself as one of Australia's rising star jazz/contemporary trumpeters. Having studied Jazz at the Sydney Conservatorium, he completed his Bachelor of Music in 2005, and has since made several trips to New York to continue his musical studies with artists including Clark Terry, Avishai Cohen, Cuong Vu, Ralph Alessi and Laurie Frink. Nick is a full time member/composer with The Vampires, The Strides and Watussi and has toured extensively throughout Australia, South America and Asia. He has also performed and toured as a session artist with some of Australia’s top alternate/pop acts including Lisa Mitchell, The Beautiful Girls and The P3nics. mNvember 2010 Nick was awarded 3Id place at the National Jazz Awards in Wangarratta NSW. Nick is a Staff member at the Wollongong Conservatorium of music where he teaches trumpet and jazz studies.
Christophe Genoux
Christophe Genoux – Composer, saxophone, singer, educator . Born in France, Christophe moved to Australia in 1986. Christophe plays various styles (from contemporary Jazz to Pop music) and performs as a solo act, duo, trio or in big bands. He plays all saxophones,clarinet,flute,piano and is a singer. He is also a composer and has released 4 albums of his original compositions. Christophe just completed his Master degree in improvisation/composition at Melbourne University. He also works as an actor and voice actor. He has performed at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival and at The Melbourne International Jazz Festival. Christophe has played with some of the finest musicians in Melbourne such as Andrea Keller, Barney McAll, Sam Keevers, Bob Sedergreen, Tony Gould, Allan Browne, Mark Fitzgibbon, Jamie Oelers, James Sherlock and singers Michelle Nicolle, Nichaud Fitzgibbon...
Craig Hanicek
A graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music Jazz Studies Program, Craig Hanicek has a diverse background as a studio musician/composer and is now emerging as a contemporary jazz artist in his own right. Craig has contributed to numerous advertising jingles, television soundtracks and albums and has composed several commercial soundtracks for radio, film and television including the ABC TV series ‘Bush Tucker Man’. He has performed live with artists such as James Morrison, Grace Knight, Bruce Cale, Phil Manning, Glenn Frey, Little River Band and Queensland Orchestra and supported Wynton Marsalis, Van Morrison, Mike Nock, UB40 and Ricky Lee Jones. Craig’s jazz ensemble Deja Blue was awarded Best Jazz Band at the Sunshine Coast Entertainer of the Year Awards and Best Live Group at the 2007 ABIA Awards. Craig is a founding member of the new contemporary jazz group JAZZERATI which as at 22/11/10 remains Number 1 after eight weeks in both the AMRAP Jazz and Funk/Soul Charts.
Peter Hawkes
"A composer with the ability to transcend several musical genres and yet stay firmly focused within his own perceived sound…he is certainly one of Australia's most creative and interesting composers for acoustic music to emerge in the last decade..." (Tony Bates ..Musicologist/Reviewer' Station Librarian /Presenter 3WBC 94)

"Pete Hawkes is one of the most important figures in contemporary roots music due to his melding of different styles, his capacity to write anything from delta blues to stunningly complex orchestral music and due to his radically different conceptual approach to recording. Now considered by many of his contemporaries as one of the great composers of his time, not only due to his capacity to write evocative and stunningly beautiful emotional music, but more so due to his unusual ability, unlike most writers, to write innovative, often ground breaking music in all musical genres, Hawkes still remains an unknown quantity to many." (US review, CD universe)

Darren Heinrich
Darren Heinrich is a versatile Sydney-based pianist & organist, who holds a 1st class Honours degree in Jazz from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he studied with Judy Bailey and Kevin Hunt. His influences incorporate the entire spectrum of the Jazz idiom, from its earliest ragtime roots to modern jazz. He regularly gigs with his own trio and freelances with a wide variety of acts both locally and abroad.
Francisco Fabian Hevia
(DRUMMER, PERCUSSIONIST, COMPOSER.) Chilean born Fabian Hevia migrated to Australia in 1975 where he undertook classical training at The Wollongong University, Creative Arts faculty, later studying jazz at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Fabian Hevia has played with Australia’s finest musicians and overseas artists and toured internationally with The Catholics and Wanderlust at prestigious festivals including Montreaux and The North Sea Jazz Festivals. His work can be heard on TV shows, commercials, films and radio. Highlights to date include Jazz at the Domain with Brazilian legend Oscar Castro Neves, ARIA award for best jazz album “Wanderlusr and an APRA nominations for his original composition ‘El Tata”. He also featured on the “Australia” movie soundtrack and recently was part of Bell Award winning CD “The Sea” by Jonathan Swath. Earlier in 2010, Fabian was part of the Luminous Concert Series at the Opera House and performed with Mark Ribot and David Hidalgo.
Alice Humphries
Alice Humphries attended the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WMPA), initially studying jazz saxophone but eventually majoring in jazz composition. She completed her Bachelor of Music (Jazz Composition) in 2007, after being finalist in the James Morrison Scholarship in 2006, a finalist in the Melville Toyota Scholarship in 2007 and winning the Bob Wylie Scholarship for Most Outstanding Graduation Recital in 2007. In 2008 Alice presented a concert of new works in collaboration with Daniel Thorne on commission from WAAPA and Jazz WA and travelled to New York, London and around Europe exploring the music scene outside Australia. In 2009 Alice was awarded the Tura New Music Commission for the most outstanding final year composition student and attained first class Honours in Composition at WAAPA studying the music of Kenny Wheeler. In 2010 Alice has been the Composer-in-Residence for the West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra through which she composed 3 new works for jazz orchestra and presented them in concert at the Ellington Jazz Club and composed a piece to feature Cat Empire Trumpeter Ross Irwin which premiered at the Perth Concert Hall in August. Alice recently formed her own ten-piece ensemble Edila to perform and record her compositions.
Stuart Hunter
2010 AIR award - Stu Hunter 'the gathering' Best Independent Jazz album 2010 Australian Jazz Bell Award - Stu Hunter 'the gathering' Best contemporary Jazz Album 2010 - co-writer with Katie Noonan and the captains (emporer's box) cd released April 2010 December 2009 - released cd 'the gathering' August 2007 - released cd 'the muse' 2004 released cd - Koto Dama

I am full time performer, composer and producer. I am co-writing in a number of projects including with Katie Noonan, Katalyst, Hit and my own solo works. About to release new cd of original compositions with organ based trio - Hit. I tour as a musician with various musical acts including Katie Noonan and the Captains, Justine clarke, and many others.

Zac Hurren
Zac Hurren is a truly unique and virtuosic saxophonist, composer and improvisor. In November 2009 Zac won the prestigious National Jazz Award confirming his growing reputation as one of Australia's finest musicians. Zac's approach is integrally interactive and alertly intuitive, resulting in music of exuberant expression and inspired unpredictability, Zac's beautiful and individual style has seen him play alongside the likes of James Morrison, Paul Grabowsky, the band ‘george’ and The Australian Chamber Orchestra. Zac’s debut album ‘Exordium’ was released in Australia mid 2007 on the independent boutique jazz label Jazzhead. This album received great critical acclaim and heralded a triumphant arrival on the contemporary jazz scene for Zac. In recognition of his musical talents, Zac received a full scholarship to the Australian National Academy of Music (A.N.A.M) Advanced Jazz Improvisation Course in Melbourne in 1999. Zac is a unique voice within the Australian jazz community.
Rafael Karlen
Rafael graduated from Griffith University, Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 2004, with a Bachelor in Contemporary Music Performance in Saxophone.In 2007, Rafael was awarded ftnding from both the Australia Council for the Arts and the Foundation for Young Australians to record his original compositions for a ten-piece ensemble. His album “Driving Hat, The West End Composers Collective play the music of Rafael Karlen” was released in 2008 and has since received critical acclaim. In 2008, he was awarded finding from both Arts Qld and the Sound Travellers initiative for a National tour with the Vest End Composers Collective to promote this CD in July 2009. Rafael was selected to attend the 2009 International Jazz and Creative Music Workshop at the Banff Centre in Canada where he studied under a faculty including Dave Douglas, Joshua Redman, Don Byron and Tony Malaby. He was awarded the Coca-Cola scholarship fiom the Banif Centre and a Professional Development Grant from Arts Queensland to assist him to attend this workshop. In 2010 Rafael received a Jump Mentoring Grant to study with Internationally renowned pesformer and composer Mike Nock. Rafael attended the 2010 APRA Song Summit in Sydney on scholarship from Arts Queensland and Qmusic.
Peter McDonald
I am a full-time musician, composer and private educator based in North-west Sydney. I have been composing for as long as I’ve been playing music, and have released 2 independent instrumental CDs of my own works. As a performer, my professional career spans around 15 years and includes several festivals, and a lot of club and corporate work. I also currently run a private piano teaching studio which sees me give one-on-one lessons to around 55 young people every week. I also have a Bachelor of Music in jazz performance, and was awarded “Student of the year” in my graduating year. website: www.petemcdonald.com.au
Lucian McGuiness
Lucian McGuiness is a Canberra-born trombonist who has toured Australia as a member of the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra alongside composer/instrumentalists such as Bert Joris, Florian Ross and Charles Tolliver, and with the Keijzer-McGuiness Quintet, a project shared with dutchman Remco Keijzer. When the Keijzer-McGuiness Quintet released The Seed Habit on Rufus Records in 2009, eminent jazz critic John Clare called it, “quite a special band... and this is an unusual and impressive disc.” Other projects have included an improvisation-based duo with Mike Majkowski (who is also a member of the Keijzer-McGuiness Quintet), and a now-dormant collaborative composing workshop with Miroslav Bukovsky known as The Techno Prisoners. He has performed with Steve Hunter, Mike Nock, Gai Bryant's Spare Parts Orchestra, The Amsterdam Jazz Philharmonic, Joanna Newsom and many more. Lucian McGuiness has a BMus from the Australian National University and a (pending) MMus from University of Sydney.

Frank Millward
Frank Millward has been involved with music as a composer, performer and teacher since the 1970s. After receiving his BA in performance from the Queensland Conservatorium, he completed an MA in music composition at the City University of New York, after which he moved to London where he took up the position of composer in residence with Lumiere and Son Theatre Company writing scores and musically directing a number of music theatre pieces. One of these works, Brightside, an electro-acoustic-experimental-dance-theatre piece, won the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 1986. He has worked as an arranger and producer collaborating on the production of recordings for a number of well-known artists. The bulk of his experience has been as a collaborating partner in a range of theatre and audio visual projects. More recently he is establishing himself as a songwriter and is producing songs whose styles stretch from mainstream forms through to audio and sonic art genres. Currently he teaches Digital Media Art at Kingston University, London. He continues to receive commissions for site-specific work and large-scale project for festival presentations.


John Milton
With a classical flautist and a music therapist as parents, John Milton was born into a musical environment. His formal journey started with piano, oboe, a choir here and there, and eventually the drums. John loved so many styles of music: rock, pop, jazz, metal, etc that it was natural to play an instrument that was essential to so many different styles. He studied with local Canberran drum teachers, played in rock and jazz bands, and listened like crazy until finishing year 12 and, after a few years of various study, applied, and was accepted, into a Bachelor Of Music (Jazz Performance) at the Australian National University in Canberra, ACT. From 2007 ‘til the end of 2009 John soaked it all up, writing music regularly, and developing his understanding of music from the multitude of perspectives of performer, arrangei composer, and listener. Having completed his degree, John moved interstate to Melbourne, victoria, in February 2010 in order to pursue his dream of writing and playing music full-time.


Terry Neal
Terry Neal has played lead guitar, bass and keyboards in many bands and has been arranging and writing songs for a number of years. After completing a music production course at the Australian School of Production and Engineering, he set up a home studio, and began producing his own songs and music. His first solo album by his band Sugar Daddies, entitled ‘Broken Down Again’ was well received with one music reviewer stating ‘Any songwriter will be knocked out by Terry’s talent.’ After working with Karen, Terry’s music has taken a new turn; moving from his blues and rock roots to jazz influences. Terry plays Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Bass Guitar,Keyboards in Blue Taboo.


Linda May Han Oh
"Possessing virtuosic technique she's more interested in making the bass
fiddle talk (and sing) than showing off everything she can do on her axe..
She's already displaying an expressive voice of rare maturity" Ken
Shimamoto, Fort Worth Weekly

"Knows more about tension and release than most bassists twice her age" -
Michael J West, Washington Post

"Self-generated energy fuels go-for-broke improvisation" - Ben Ratliff, NY Times

"a young bass powerhouse from down-under... I love how she just blew into
town and took over" - Vijay Iyer in Artforum International

The Linda Oh Trio's debut CD is now out on CDbaby, Amazon and Itunes

2nd place in BASS2010 Competition in Berlin Oct 8


David Reaston
David Reaston is a Sydney based guitarist who composes and improvises 21st Century Art Music. The cut and splice, intellectual internal reference, and sonic blasts of his “10 Guitar Project“, combined with freebased improvisation have confirmed him as an audacious innovator. As well as pointed abstraction, David is known for his symmetrical handshakes and a beautiful take on traditional standards, particularly his use of reharmonisation and polyphony.

David has a Master of Music degree in Composition from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and a Bachelor of Jazz Studies from the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music. He has also studied in New York City with Lionel Loueke, Adam Rogers, Ben Monder, John Abercrombie and Tim Berne . David has released two albums as a leader - 10 Guitar Project (2010) and After Now (2004), one as a co-leader - The Reaston-Kay Effect (2008), in addition to being a featured soloist on other albums. He is currently playing with the 10 Guitar Project, RKC Effect, Natalie Dietz and ARIA award winning artist Max Sharam. He teaches guitar and improvisation at the Australian Institute of Music and composition at the Conservatorium High-school in Sydney.


Jeremy Philip Rose
At 26, Sydney saxophonist/composer Jeremy Rose is fast establishing himself as one of Australia’s leading emerging jazz artists, having released six albums of original music with his groups in the past three years and receiving the 2009 BeLl Award for Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year His compositions recorded by The Vampires (“South Coasting” and “CheUowdene”) and The Strides (“The Strides” and “Reclamation”) have led to invitations to perform at festivals and venues around the country. He also formed Norwegian/Australian collaboration, Jeremy Rose’s Chiba, and has received critical acclaim for their debut CD “Chiba”, along with international performances in Northern Europe and Japan As a co-founder of Compass Saxophone Quartet, Jeremy has composed a 20 minute tango suite on the recent release “Abrazo Tango” and their upcoming CD “River Meeting” - a collaboration with Indian Classical musicians Bobby Singh and Sarangan Sriranganathan Jeremy graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Honours Class I) in 2007, and has travelled extensively over the past several years. In 2006 he undertook a six month exchange to Oslo, Norway where he studied with the award winning composer Geir Lysne. In 2008 he received a BBM scholarship to study in London with Saxophonist/Composer/Arranger Tim Garland, as well as attend the School for Improvisation in Brooklyn, New York. Rose was also selected to attend the 2009 Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music in Canada In 2009 Rose started an independent record label, Earshift Records, to provide a sustainable means of music production in an evolving music industry.


Simon Self
Simon is a contemporary jazz musician based in Sydney. He has recently released a new album of original music performed by his flagship ensemble The Dosshouse Chandeliers. The latest album, “Treat Like Eggs”, consists of a unique blend of jazz, rock and fusion in an eclectic brew intermingled with poignant and intriguing lyrics with a literary sensibility. The album was recorded and produced in Townsville by Bjarne Ohlin (formerly of The Divinyls) and was released to a sell-out audience at a concert hosted by Music Centre North Queensland in October 2009.


Aaron Spiers
Aaron studied jazz performance at West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and achieved his Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance) with Honours on electric bass in 2007. Since then, Aaron has had the opportunity to perform with Ben Lee, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Kate Ceberano, Guy Sebastian, James Morrison, David Campbell and support Leo Sayer, Jenny Morris, Diesel, Vanessa Amerosi, End of Fashion, Old Man River, Lior and Rick Price. Aaron also had the opportunity to present a tribute to Weather Report and the music of Jaco Pastorius & Joni Mitchell at the Perth Jazz Society.

In December 2009, Aaron self-funded the recording of his debut rock album entitled Fade to Black. Aaron wrote, produced and performed on the recording of eleven tracks that was released in September 2010. In mid 2010 he also recorded his debut jazz album titled Australique, which he will be releasing independently from his website. The album features jazz artists Troy Roberts on Saxophone, Tim Jago on Guitar and Ben Vanderwal on the Drums performing five of Aaron’s compositions and two well-known jazz standards.

Aaron also arranges, re-orchestrates and composes for the Australian Army Band Perth, a concert band with rhythm section and vocalists, which regularly perform in the Perth area.


Timothy Stevens
Timothy Stevens was born in Swan Hill, Victoria, and moved with his family to Melbourne as a child. Growing up in the Anglican church, he was exposed to organ and choral music from very early on and began piano lessons at the age of eight. His classical background has informed his improvisation mostly through the development of his instrumental sound, which is already recognised as distinctive and cultivated. His studies at the Victorian College of the Arts culminated in his being awarded the degree of Master of Music Performance (1996). Subsequently he studied for the Doctorate of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 2000 having completed a thesis on Melbourne's Red Onion Jazz Band. He performed as a member of the trio Browne - Haywood - Stevens in the late 1990s, and subsequently has led his own trio, which features his original compositions and pursues spontaneous ('free') improvisation. He has taught a little bit too but, to be frank, prefers to play and to write.
Daniel Thorne
Dan is quickly making a name for himself as a composer and saxophonist to watch. After graduating from the Western Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) with first class honours in 2007, he has been active on the Perth music scene, composing and performing with the Mace Francis Orchestra, the Johannes Luebbers Dectet, and his own quintet, Det Nopsus. Dan has received commissions from MFO, the West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra, and the new music ensemble Decibel, and was composer in residence at WAAPA in 2009. He has been featured as a soloist and composer on recordings by MFO and the Johannes Luebbers Dectet, and is currently completing mixing an EP with Det Nopsus.
Raymond Wassef
After leaving his role of longtime lead guitarist in Sydney band Kid Confucius, singer/songwriter Ray Wassef went on with bassist Byron Luiters (who now plays with John Butler Trio) and drummer Bart Denaro (since replaced by Grant Gerathy) to independently release a debut album, The Ray Mann Three: recorded in three days, produced by Tony Buchen, the album blends soul, jazz and hip-hop with timeless songwriting that calls to mind Al Green, D’Angelo, The Beatles and The Roots, and perfectly captures the band’s warm, intimate sound.

The live shows of The Ray Mann Three and of Ray Mann (solo) have earned them spots supporting international acts such as Al Green, Tori Amos, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Jamie Lidell and Roy Ayers, and local acts ranging from Ash Grunwald and The Bamboos to Kate Miller-Heidke and Holly Throsby. Ray Mann has toured Australia continuously since 2005, regularly selling out dates and in 2009 having his band’s performance televised Australia-wide on Live At The Basement on ABC TV.

The sounds of The Ray Mann Three managed to reach the ears of record label P-Vine in Japan, who signed the band and released the debut album in Japan in May 2009 – where, twelve months later, the band visited for the first time to perform at Greenroom Festival (alongside Arrested Development, G. Love & Special Sauce, 10CC, Rickie Lee Jones, Blue King Brown and more).

Desmond White
Desmond White is a highly regarded acoustic and electric bassist currently residing in New York City.  After attaining his B.Mus at the Western Australian Academy of performing arts Des was awarded a Young People and the Arts Creative Development Fellowship, which enabled him to study jazz and latin music in New York City. His versatility and knowledge of various styles of music have lead to performances with many national and international artists. He has performed with some of Melbourne’s leading jazz and latin groups including the Joe Chindamo Trio, Kate Ceberano, Jamie Oehlers Quartet, Rumberos,, Los Cabrones, Julien Wilson Quartet, Mark Fitzgibbon Trio, Stephen Magnusson, Sugarbeat and various other established bands.  After building a successful career in Australia, he relocated to NY to pursue his Master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music.
Belinda Woods
Flautist Belinda Woods is emersed in the Melbourne Improvised music scene. Performing regularly with ensembles such as Bohjass, Lo-Res, Meter Maid and the Sunwrae Ensemble. Belinda explores the use of texture and contour within her playing to paint scenes of rich complexity, focusing on the acoustic nature of her instrument. A recent Masters of Music graduate from the VCA, Belinda extends her abilities towards the composed music of the 20th and 21st centuries, the structure and innovation of which she draws into her own improvising and composition. Artistic director of the ” Make It Up Club” Improvised music series from 1993 – 2007 Belinda has played a major role in supporting and enhancing the development of the local music scene. Her passion for music that is boundless, challenging and left of centre keeps her explorations alive, her desires to create a form of music that is inspirational and exciting, building on the energy of creator and listener alike, transcending the unattainable.
Toby Wren
Toby Wren is one of Australia’s most compelling and original artists. Gigging from an early age in Blues, Rock, Classical and Fusion, Wren went on to study composition at the Qld Conservatorium and the synthesis of these styles into his performances and compositions have seen his various groups achieve national recognition. The acclaimed 2006 release 'Umlaut' was followed by 2008’s hard-hitting 'Everything Must Go', a collaboration with Jamie Oehlers. Since 2006 Toby has been learning and collaborating with some of the master musicians of South Indian classical music. These collaborations led him to a soon-to-be-released recording and a return to academia to further investigate cross-cultural music and jazz. Toby has performed with: The Toby Wren Trio and Quartet; the Carnatic Jazz Experiment; The Trevor Hart Quartet; 18 Wheels (Leah Cotterell); James Morrison; Chris Pickering; Megan Washington; Misinterprotato; Hannah Macklin; Debbie Reynolds; Rhonda Birchmore; Guru Kaaraikkudi R Mani; and more.
Brian Wright
Brian Wright singer/songwriter Over the last 40 years ive been continuously writing, recording and performing my original works whilst also having a two year residency with my Jazz Band 'Chic Paris' playing at the Limerick Hotel in South Melbourne and at various other venues and melbourne tv shows, ie. the midday show. Whilst always inspired, i continue to build up a large catalouge of original tunes, some being jazz, latin, blues and folk, to the number of @ 100 songs written, at least. I also played in a successful working trio for 15years.Playing and singing Classics and pop covers to a broad audience in various melbourne/victorian venues ie. The Regent Theatre, Hyatt, Hiltons, Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Mansion and many many more to mention. I am a prolific writing and find myself living and breathing through my own music.